[Update: The trial has been postponed once again to Oct. 23.]
After a two-month postponement, an important trial in Egypt is scheduled to go back into session, and Amnesty International will watch it closely to see whether the judicial system there is ready to keep its police and security officials accountable for their actions.
The trial of two police officers accused of beating to death of a man outside an Alexandria internet café in June was discussed in an earlier blog posting here.
The officers are not accused of murder but with lesser charges. Amnesty has called upon Egyptian officials place measures to protect witnesses in the case. But in similar situations in the past, no charges would have been filed at all. We believe the fact that the trial is being held at all is because of the great groundswell of public interest in the case.
Throughout Egypt, particularly in Alexandra and Cairo, large demonstrations have pressed authorities to pursue this case. A new Amnesty video released this week before the trial explores why people believe this case is so important.
American officials are also watching. Torture and death in custody has always been a significant part of the annual State Department Human Rights report on Egypt, and the last congressional delegation to meet with government officials raised the issue. But frankly, it’s not the U.S. that is making the difference this time.
The video tells the story of why Egyptian people are demanding that the judicial authorities fulfill their obligations for justice and why Khaled Said will not be forgotten. They’ve made their leaders listen. Our support for them will show we are listening as well.